LOS ANGELES — With the final pick in this year’s draft, No. 259, the Los Angeles Rams selected Toledo defensive lineman Desjuan Johnson, making him this year’s “Mr. Irrelevant” on Saturday.
When asked if there was anything unique about being the final pick of the draft, Johnson said, “everything [about being drafted] is unique.”
“Just be getting picked, final pick, first pick, middle pick, everything [is] unique,” Johnson said. “I’m very blessed. I was blessed that God picked and I’m blessed that I can continue to play the game that I love and I’m going to give it my all up there on the field and at practice.”
Rams general manager Les Snead said he didn’t know pick No. 259 was the last pick until the team made the trade.
“But I can say there was probably a non-business-like emotional attachment to doing Mr. Irrelevant for maybe the first time,” Snead said. “I can’t remember that we’ve ever done that, so that was kind of fun.”
Last season’s Mr. Irrelevant was 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy, who took over as San Francisco’s starting job in Week 14 after Jimmy Garoppolo was sidelined with a foot injury. Purdy became the first Mr. Irrelevant to throw a pass and the only Mr. Irrelevant QB in the common draft era (since 1967) to start and win a playoff game.
Kicker Ryan Succop has played the most games of any Mr. Irrelevant (216), according to ESPN Stats & Information. Three others have played at least 100 games, but no player has made the Pro Bowl.
The past 10 Mr. Irrelevant picks have played at least one game in the NFL, according to ESPN Stats & Information. There were four Mr. Irrelevant picks to play in the NFL last season.
Johnson will get to play with defensive tackle Aaron Donald, someone he called one of his favorite players. He said he watched film on Donald throughout college, “trying to learn the things he [does] and move like him.”
“In my opinion, I believe we’ve got somewhat similar traits, but just to learn from him, from watching film and now get to sit next to him and just take notes, I’m going to just be like a newborn,” Johnson said. “I feel like I’m going to be like a newborn, trying to take as much in [and trying] to learn under him.”